Sep 27, 2016

A Lighter Option - Casarecce Pasta with Bacon Chunks and Smoked Salmon

A satisfying pasta dish doesn't have to be strong tasting or soak in heavy sauce all the time. This casarecce pasta uses bacon and smoked salmon to boost up the savory components while the garden peas and lime juice add a refreshing touch. Give it a try, you might fall for the hearty bite from the chunky bacon. 

Casarecce pasta with bacon chunks and smoked bacon -



Ingredients (4 to 5 portions)?

  • 1 bag/500 grams casarecce pasta (or other similar variations)
  • 1 box button mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lb chunky bacon
  • 0.5 lb smoked salmon
  • 0.5 lb garden peas
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon truffle salt
  • Some kosher salt
  • Some black pepper


How?

Peel and cube the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Trim off the very bottom stem of the mushrooms then slice them. Cube the bacon. Tear the smoked salmon into bite size pieces. 


Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add a good few pinches of kosher salt. Pour in the pasta and cook till al dente, drain well and set aside for later use. If you time it well, all the other ingredients should be ready when the pasta just cooked to the right texture.

Take a big pan and turn to medium high heat. Add in cubed bacon and cook till the fat has been rendered but not over-browning the bacon. Scoop out the bacon chunks and leave the delicious fat inside.

Transfer cubed onion to the same pan along with 1 tablespoon of truffle salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook till the onion turns translucent then add in the garlic, cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Add in the mushroom and cook for about one minute. 


Add the garden peas to the mixture. Defrost and pat dry ahead if using frozen peas. Also squeeze in 1/2 lime juice, cook for a little bit longer so all the flavors can bind well.

Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan and mix well. Scoop some pasta to the serving plate. Sprinkle some black pepper if desired. Add a few pieces of smoked salmon to complete the dish.


Wait till you bite into salty bacon chunks, the sensation is incomparable to sliced version.  


Other pasta recipes:




Sep 22, 2016

Kimchi Chicken Stir Fry - The Sour and Spicy Kick will Make You Craving for More

Pickles are one of my kitchen staples. The varieties ranging from pearl onions, relish, jalapeño, chilies, and more. Serving on its own, pickles make a great side dish, but incorporating with another dish, pickles can be a great flavor booster.

Taking Korean kimchi for instance, which is usually paired with fatty pork since the acidity and spiciness well balance off the oily content. This time I'm using skin-on chicken thigh and the result was a mouth-watering rice killing dish. 

Kimchi chicken stir fry -



Ingredients?

  • 250 grams/about 1 cup kimchi
  • 1 lb skin-on chicken thigh
  • 12 slices young ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sesame oil
  • Some toasted white sesame seeds


How?

Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves. Trim off the scallion stem, chop about 1/3 of the green part to little pieces and the rest into sections. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. Peel and slice the young ginger.


Marinate the chicken with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of kimchi juice for 15 minutes.


Take a pan and sear the chicken, skin side down first if possible. There is no need to drizzle oil prior searing. Cook till slightly browned then scoop out for later use. 

Drizzle one teaspoon of white sesame oil to the same pan and turn to medium high heat. Toss in chopped garlic, scallion sections, and ginger slices. Cook till the garlic is about to get burnt then add in the kimchi. Stir fry for about 30 seconds.

Transfer the chicken back to the pan and cook till all the juice has been reduced. The mixture should appear semi-dried at this moment. Transfer onto a serving plate.


Sprinkle with toasted white sesame seeds and garnish with chopped scallion right before serving.

Don't forget the steamed rice!  


Other spicy Asian stir fry recipes: